Just to keep you updated… by Sue Kay

As 2009 draws to a close, we thought it might be helpful to provide you with updated information on some of our most popular newsletter topics from this past year. As always, it is our goal to make it as efficient as possible for you to keep up with
information pertinent to the running of your medical practice.

RAC (Recovery Audit Contractor) Update

In the midst of everything else that has been going on in healthcare during 2009, RAC audits have somewhat taken a back seat. With the Obama administration’s goals of reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, look for this topic to gain renewed interest in the coming months.

Click here for a recent press release from CMS titled HHS EMPLOYS NEW TOUGHER STANDARDS IN CALCULATION OF IMPROPER MEDICARE PAYMENT RATES FOR 2009 for an update on the Administration’s tougher stance on overpayments.

From a RAC perspective, it continues to make sense for you to be proactive instead of reactive. A good first step is to review the overpayments found by the RACs and to do your own internal audit of some of your practice’s past claims.

Improper payment information can be found as follows:

1) Demonstration Findings http://www.cms.hhs.gov/RAC

2) Permanent RAC findings – can be found on each of the individual RACs’ websites. RAC contact information is as follows:

a. Region A: Diversified Collection Services

b. Region B: CGI



c. Region C: Connolly Consulting

d. Region D: HealthDataInsights


Part A: 1-866-590-5598
Part B: 1-866-376-2319
ICD-10 Update

As indicated in an article earlier this year, the implementation date for ICD-10 remains October 1, 2013. While we don’t have any updated information specifically on ICD-10, we do have an updated resource for you. The AMA (American Medical Association) was instrumental in getting the implementation timeline pushed back from the original date of October 1, 2011. The AMA has a portion of its website dedicated to ICD-10 information and updates as follows:


As the manager of a medical practice, I’d recommend that you set this page up as a favorite and check it frequently for updated information. It’s one of my “favorites” as well.

Meaningful Use Update

The HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act is a portion of the stimulus bill designed to encourage physicians and other healthcare organizations to adopt and use Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Approximately $19.2 Billion has been appropriated to be used as incentive money for hospitals and physicians who adopt and who are “meaningful users” of EHRs.

“Meaningful Use” however has still yet to be determined. According to Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health IT, CMS will issue its proposed rule defining meaningful use by the end of this year.

Click here to read an open letter regarding this topic from Dr. Blumenthal.

“Red Flags” Rule Update

The Federal Trade Commission for the fourth time has extended the compliance date for the “Red Flags” rule, from Nov. 1, 2009, to June 1, 2010. More information is available at http://www.ftc.gov/redflagsrule .

If you would like to read the original articles on each of these topics, please visit our website at www.efficiencyinpractice.com and select the Article Archive tab on the left.

© 2009 Efficiency in Practice

Sue Kay, Senior Consultant at InHealth, is the editor of Efficiency in Practice, the free eNewsletter for medical practice managers who want to save time, money and reduce risk. For more information and to access your FREE report, The 8 Things You MUST Know About CMS’ RAC Program, visit www.efficiencyinpractice.com or check out our blog at www.efficiencyinpractice.blogspot.com.

This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.

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